The Birth of the Realtime Web - Steve Rosenbaum - MediaBizBloggers

Cover image for  article: The Birth of the Realtime Web - Steve Rosenbaum - MediaBizBloggers

Ok, admit it - you're feeling a bit like you're drowning. That's ok, you're not alone. We all are. We live in an era of data abundance. Every institution, publication, brand and individual is exuding data. With databases and devices, sensors and cameras, there's room for a new version of Moore's Law. Rosenbaum's Law says that the amount of information being created per capita will continue to expand by 20 to 30% a year... as more sources and devices come online. It's a data explosion, and it's happening in "Realtime."

Today everything is asynchronous. Emails are answered later. Voice mails are picked and responded to when possible. And, of course, lots of things are dropped. But that's changing. Realtime is winning. Twitter is realtime. It happens NOW - or NEVER. Folks do not to go back to read your old tweets. 4Square is about where you are NOW, and what you're doing NOW.

Now is hip. Now is where it's at.

News. Fashion. Stocks. Trends. Movies. Books. Art. Food. It's all happening in real time.

It's possible that this was inevitable. That being able to stack up experiences and deal with them when time allowed was just a brief respite while the world got wired, and devices and bandwidth caught up with our culture.

But, as we appear to be quickly moving to an always on, 'realtime' world, let's take that as a granted, and see how powerfully important this concept can be.

Realtime is here and it matters. Over the next few weeks, I'll be writing a series of posts on the realtime Web, including Realtime Advertising, Realtime Social Networks, Realtime Medicine and Realtime Art. But this week I wanted to start with Realtime News.

Realtime for news and information.

Clay Shirky tells the story of the time when you could turn on the News from 6 to 6:30 and then have dinner, knowing that you knew what was going on in the world. That's no longer true. News happens while you sleep. It happens while you're in your car, at work, on the subway, on a plane. News happens everywhere all the time.

And news, it turns out, isn't the same for everyone.

For example: in New York they're putting up digital signs to announce the arrival time of subways. I'm sure this hardly interests you. But for me, my schedule and my day are directly impacted by the 'news' of a subway delay - so it's meaningful.






News, it seems, matters to different people in different ways. For example, the attempted bombing of Times Square.

As news 'breaks' that there may be a bomb in Times Square, New Yorkers worry about their safety, tourists worry about their hotels, political types worry about the impact of a 'home grown' bomber vs. a foreign terror link... the context of the story matters.

So, can we all watch a 'news' program and learn what we need to about this story - in real time? The clear answer is no. A travel site needs to report the news from the standpoint of New York as a travel hub, and the impact on Homeland Security and TSA.

The realtime Web is providing a fire hose of content, but No Context. That's what the various trusted sources we engage can do.

Here's an example of how a realtime news aggregation and curation site can be built in under 10 minutes.

(example here)

Realtime news means different things to different people.

Here's what "realtime" means for first responders using "Disaster Web": Fire Department Network News

Realtime for Finance is different than Realtime for Yelp users who are looking for a great place to eat. In finance, the world operates in micro-seconds. In Food, you might like to know if there's a line at Barney Greengrass on Sunday morning (hint: there is) but there's some room for error.

Adding social data to the Realtime Web, along with multi-source video, and governmental data via public API's, there's a whole new world of data that is about to change what we expect from the Web.

Realtime. Now is the time.

Steven Rosenbaum is the CEO and Co-Founder of - a fast-growing video publishing platform that powers more than 50,000 web sites, media companies, and content entrepreneurs to aggregate and curate web video from a wide variety of web sources. Currently publishes over 50,000 channels of Curated-Consumer Video, and is working closely with a wide variety of media makers, communities, and publishers in evolving their content offerings to include content created by, sorted and reviewed by community members. Rosenbaum is a serial entrepreneur, Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker, and well known innovator in the field of user-generated media production. Rosenbaum Directed and Executive Produced the critically acclaimed 7 Days In September, and his MTV Series Unfiltered is widely regarded as the first commercial use of Consumer Generated Video in US mass media. Steve can be contacted at Follow Steve Rosenbaum on Twitter:

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